Stealing the Presidency

November 7, 1876. A little before midnight on election night, the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes admits defeat and goes to bed. The Democrat Samuel J. Tilden has swept the electoral college, and by morning, he will almost certainly have the votes he needs to win the presidency. But overnight, the Republicans manage to change their fate and go on to steal the election. How did a one-legged Civil War veteran, a handful of telegrams and some of the filthiest politics in American history flip the election? And how did Hayes’ fateful compromise with the Democrats set back suffrage for over a century?

Special thanks to Dr. Richard White, Professor Emeritus of American History and author of The Republic for Which It Stands.


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